Buena Park is unique. It is distinct from all other Chicago neighborhoods because of its origins, borders, the timing of its architectural growth, proximity to both the lakefront and downtown Chicago and its diverse range of residents. It is unique because of its people, architecture and lakefront.
I moved to Buena Park after spending 29 years in the suburbs where I was only slightly involved in my community.
After moving to Buena Park things changed for me dramatically. I got involved politically, joined the local bicycling community, immersed myself in the participatory budgeting process, became a CAPS (Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy) facilitator at meetings, hooked up with local positive loiterers to calm down high-crime intersections, gave local bicycle tours and developed my photography which appears on these pages and in other media.
So, what was the difference between suburban me and Buena Park me? Nothing. I am the still the same guy with the same skills, energy and beliefs.
I think it is this: It is the people of Buena Park that made the difference in my newly discovered activism. You are welcoming, active, expressive, concerned, involved, progressive, diverse and tolerant of a tall, bald advocate who rides and commutes year round on his three-wheeled recumbent trike.
You and your neighbors made it easy for me to flourish and advocate for issues I never dreamed I could impact.
So, thanks. This book is for you.
By the numbers: In Buena Park 72 percent of the residents are married and 28 percent of the population are single. The percent of people married is 7 percent higher than the ratio of Uptown which is 65 percent. In Buena Park the male-to-female ratio is 5,716:5,524, which is 9 percent lower than the ratio of
Uptown which is 26,181:23,196. Marital and age demographic data is sourced from the 2013 census.
The population of Buena Park is 11,238 with a median age of 35. Buena Park’s median household income is $62,552 which is 25 percent higher than that of Uptown’s $50,037, and the average household net worth is $532,905. Of Buena Park’s population 18 percent are long term residents who have lived in their homes for more than 5 years while 22 percent of Buena Park’s population has moved in the last year.
Buena Park has 94 percent less property crime and 49 percent less personal crime than the North Side and is 88 percent below the nation’s average. The most common jobs of Buena Park residents are office workers, administrators, medical doctors, educators and salespeople